Pre-tax profit up by 62% to £6.9m at Hastings Hotel Group

Europa Hotel was the most successful business in the family-owned hospitality group in 2022/23

The Culloden, Grand Central and Europa hotels were Hastings' three biggest revenue drivers in 2022.
The Culloden, Grand Central and Europa hotels generated 78% of the Hastings Hotel Group's revenue in the year to October 31 2023.

The north’s largest independent hotel group Hastings has reported a 62% increase in pre-tax profit last year, new accounts show.

The family-owned company behind Belfast’s Europa and Grand Central hotels posted a £6.9 million profit-before-tax for the year ending October 31 2023.

The accounts for the Hastings Hotels Group include the trading business for its six northern hotels along with its hotel management company, which between them, employed 836 people towards the end of last year.

The group recorded a 17.5% increase in turnover to £50.7m last year, according to documents filed with Companies House.

Alongside its two flagship Belfast city centre hotels, the accounts include the activities of the Culloden Estate and Spa, Ballygally Castle, Stormont Hotel and Everglades Hotel in Derry.

The Hastings Hotel Group underwent an internal restructuring of its business following the 2021 sale of the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle to US investors AJ Capital for around £40m.

That restructuring saw the establishment of William Hastings Group Ltd, which incorporates the family’s property investment interests.

It also factors in the Hastings family’s 50% stake in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin.

The accounts for William Hastings Group Ltd show that side of the business recorded a pre-tax profit of £3.3m in the year to October 31 2023.

The same accounts indicate the ‘demerger of the Hastings Hotel Group’ involved a cost of around £2.5m.

It had £10.5m cash and equivalents at the end of the reporting period.

Based on the accounts filed with Companies House, the Europa remains the most successful business in the Hastings Hotels Group.

Its revenues grew by 27% last year to just under £16m, with the Great Victoria Street hotel posting a pre-tax profit of £2.3m.

With a staff of 272 people, it also remained the largest operation within the group.

The nearby Grand Central Hotel, which had a staff of 191 on its books, posted an operating profit of £1.5m in the year to October 2023.

But interest payments of around £1.9m related to the Bedford Street hotel resulted in a pre-tax loss of £405,000 for the 2022/23 financial year.

The Culloden Estate and Spa remains another continuing success story for the hotel group.

Its £10.2m turnover last year produced a pre-tax profit of £1.3m.

The Stormont Hotel (£5.1m turnover), Ballygally Castle (£3.4m turnover) and the Everglades Hotel (£2.8m turnover) all remained profitable in the last financial year.

The group’s hotel business did face a £2.4m tax bill last year, which left it with a total income of £4.8m in the year to October 2023.

That was more than double the figure posted in 2022.

According to Companies House, Howard Hastings (61) holds the controlling stake in the family business.